CEF and ViaSat Support Science Olympiad Program

Substantial Grant from ViaSat Fuels Program While ViaSat Volunteers Mentor Students and Foster Interest in Engineering Careers

Carlsbad, CA Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF), a non-profit organization devoted to developing and funding educational and enrichment programs for more than 11,000 Carlsbad students, announces continued support for theScience Olympiad program at all three Carlsbad middle schools and Carlsbad High School during the 2012-2013 school year.

Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of science education through “academic track meets” where a cross-section of students participates in tournaments that foster teamwork and collaboration.

This program, which reinforces one of CEF’s goals to enrich education through increased hands-on science, is being made possible through a generous grant from Carlsbad-based ViaSat, Inc. Specifically, the grant provided the necessary funds to sponsor 12 teams from CUSD’s three middle schools (Aviara Oaks, Calavera Hills, and Valley Middle Schools) along with 3 teams from Carlsbad High School.

Grant funding provided valuable assistance in covering costs associated with team registration fees, competition-related supplies and coaching stipends for each lead coach.

In addition, through its VPartners community outreach program, ViaSat provided the various Science Olympiad teams with over twenty volunteer coaches from its ranks of engineers. With the full backing of ViaSat’s executive leadership, these mentors were able to contribute “real world” expertise, insight and encouragement to the scientists and engineers of the future who are participating in Science Olympiad.

“We are so grateful to have the financial and mentorship assistance from ViaSat as they make it possible to provide ongoing support for Science Olympiad at multiple schools,” said Valin Brown, CEO of the Carlsbad Educational Foundation. “ViaSat’s willingness to provide meaningful mentors for our students was a tremendous inspiration for them to continue their passion for hands-on science in the upper grades.”

For more than a quarter century, Science Olympiad has helped create a passion for learning that has led to a revolution in science education. Each tournament includes keenly balanced elements from the various science disciplines, including chemistry, biology and physics. The San Diego County Regional Science Olympiad Competition for Division B, which encompasses CUSD middle schools, took place on Saturday, February 2nd at Rancho Bernardo High School.

The San Diego County Regional Science Olympiad Division C competition at the high school level took place Sunday, Feb. 17th at Del Norte High School in Poway. Carlsbad HS was represented by three teams, with a total of 23 participants, in a field of 75 teams from some 25 schools from around the county. CHS students received awards in 7 out of the 23 events.

At the February 2nd competition, the Carlsbad middle schools, collectively, received 23 awards across a variety of individual test, build and lab events. Best individual awards were received by students from Aviara Oaks and Calavera Hills Middle School teams who placed 2nd and Valley Middle School who placed 7th in various events out of a total 30 regional schools that participated. A total of 98 teams from regional schools competed in 23 events.

The goal of Science Olympiad is to create a passion for learning science and recognize high levels of academic achievement by motivated students in an exciting and challenging extra-curricular enrichment program. Since 1984, Science Olympiad has led a revolution in science education. What began as a grassroots assembly of science teachers now is one of the premiere science competitions in the nation. In recent years, 6,000 secondary schools from 49 states participated in the Science Olympiad National Tournament with an additional 10,000 elementary schools holding tournaments or other hands-on events.

“We applaud the Carlsbad Educational Foundation for its continuing efforts to bring science to life through highly innovative programs, such as Science Olympiad,” says Steve Hart, CTO and co-founder of ViaSat. “Our engineering mentors appreciate the opportunity to get involved and help build early interest in engineering as a career. It’s important for business leaders to give back to their communities, and to offer hands-on experiences that excite the interests and imaginations of future generations of scientists and engineers.”

About ViaSat

ViaSat delivers fast, secure communications, Internet, and remote network access to fixed sites or on-the-move. The company provides networking products and managed network services for enterprise IP applications; is a key supplier of network-centric military communications and encryption technologies and products to the U.S. and allied governments; and is the primary technology partner for gateway and customer-premises equipment for consumer and mobile satellite broadband services. Based in Carlsbad, Calif., ViaSat has established a number of worldwide locations for customer service, network operations, and technology development.

About the Carlsbad Educational Foundation

The Carlsbad Educational Foundation(CEF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in 1983 to raise private support for public education and the enrichment of more than 11,000 students in the Carlsbad Unified School District. CEF develops and funds innovative, high-quality educational programs. Since its inception, the foundation has contributed more than $5 million in funds to Carlsbad schools, primarily for science, technology, arts and reading. In 2012 alone, the foundation released nearly half a million dollars in support of K-5 music programs, hands-on science, and educationally innovative programs. CEF also operates a Summer Enrichment Program, a high school Summer Academy, as well as Kids’ Care, a comprehensive before- and after-school childcare program. For more information, visit http://www.carlsbaded.org/.